Movie about Va.’s now-defunct ban on interracial marriage to be shot in state

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2015-05-14 19:42Z by Steven

Movie about Va.’s now-defunct ban on interracial marriage to be shot in state

The Washington Post
2014-05-14

Laura Vozzella, Richmond Bureau Reporter

RICHMONDVirginia has landed a movie project about Richard and Mildred Loving, the real-life Virginia couple arrested in 1958 for violating the state’s interracial marriage ban.

The Lovings filed a lawsuit that eventually made its way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 struck down bans on interracial marriage. The case is often invoked today amid legal challenges to bans on same-sex marriage.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) announced on Thursday that makers of the movie had chosen to shoot the project in the state. A statement from his office noted that the court case at the center of the story was “a landmark civil rights case in defense of marriage equality that is still relevant today.”

Loving is a significant American story that should be told, and I am happy to announce it will be filmed in Virginia,” said McAuliffe, who supports same-sex marriage. “Attracting these projects to the Commonwealth helps build the new Virginia economy by generating new revenues, creating good-paying jobs for our citizens and continuing to highlight Virginia’s historical significance.”

The film will star Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton, and will be directed by acclaimed film director Jeff Nichols. It was inspired by “The Loving Story,” a documentary produced and directed by Nancy Buirski that aired on HBO, the governor’s office said…

Read the entire article here.

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Checking Boxes: A close look at mixed-race identity and the law

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Law, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-02-05 21:21Z by Steven

Checking Boxes: A close look at mixed-race identity and the law

Macomb County Leagal News
Mt. Clemens, Michgan
2015-02-05

Jenny Whalen, ‎Web Communications Specialist
School of Law
University of Michigan

Professor Martha S. Jones has long struggled with the idea of checking more than one box. Her reluctance to do so has been influenced by a lifetime of changing perceptions about her own identity. Born to an interracial couple a decade before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the legality of such a relationship in Loving v. Virginia, Jones, who co-directs the Program in Race, Law & History at U-M, crossed the color line at birth.

As the featured speaker for Michigan Law’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day lecture last month, Jones reflected on her mixed-race experience to open up an understanding of how legal culture has wrestled with the idea that Americans might check more than one box of racial identity.

“Today I’m going to be asking myself, ‘How does it feel to be a problem?’” Jones said, looking to address the same question contemporaries of W.E.B. Du Bois asked him at the dawn of the 20th century.

For Jones, the answer to this question starts with Loving v. Virginia

Read the entire article here. View Professor Jones’ presentation here.

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The Children of Loving v. Virginia: Living at the Intersection of Law and Mixed-Race Identity

Posted in Census/Demographics, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Law, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2015-01-21 02:27Z by Steven

The Children of Loving v. Virginia: Living at the Intersection of Law and Mixed-Race Identity

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Special Lecture
University of Michigan
2015-01-19

Martha S. Jones, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Associate Professor of History
University of Michigan

University of Michigan Law School Prof. Martha S. Jones, who codirects the Program in Race, Law & History​, addresses her own experience as a mixed race woman and explores issues facing contemporary society as the featured speaker at Michigan Law’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration on Jan. 19, 2015.

Presenting “The Children of Loving v. Virginia: Living at the Intersection of Law and Mixed-Race Identity,” Jones uses lived experience to open up an understanding of how legal culture has wrestled with the idea that Americans might check more than one box.

View the video (00:37:05) here.

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Justice Alito’s Dissent in Loving v. Virginia

Posted in Articles, Gay & Lesbian, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2014-12-11 00:40Z by Steven

Justice Alito’s Dissent in Loving v. Virginia

Boston College Law Review
Volume 55, Issue 5 (November 2014)
pages 1563-1611

Christopher R. Leslie, Chancellor’s Professor of Law
University of California, Irvine

In 1967, in Loving v. Virginia, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously struck down miscegenation statutes, which criminalized interracial marriage, as unconstitutional. In 2013, the Court in United States v. Windsor invalidated Section 3 of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), which precluded federal agencies from recognizing marriages between same-sex couples even if the marriages were legally valid in the couples’ home state. While Loving was a unanimous decision, the Court in Windsor was closely divided. Almost half a century after Chief Justice Warren issued his unanimous Loving opinion, the Loving dissent has been written. Justice Alito authored it in Windsor. Justice Alito fashioned his dissent as upholding DOMA. But the rationales he employed were much more suited to the facts of Loving than the facts of Windsor. In this Article, Professor Leslie explains how each of Justice Alito’s reasons for upholding DOMA applies equally or more strongly to miscegenation laws at the time of the Loving opinion than to DOMA in 2013. There is simply no internally consistent way to defend DOMA with Justice Alito’s arguments without also upholding the constitutionality of miscegenation laws. Thus, Justice Alito not only authored a dissent for the Windsor case; he effectively wrote a dissent in Loving nearly 50 years after the case was decided. His reasoning would require the upholding of Virginia’s miscegenation statute. To the extent that the legal community now recognizes that the former anti-miscegenation regimes represent a shameful chapter of American history, the fact that the same arguments used to defend miscegenation laws are being invoked to justify bans on same-sex marriage suggests that such bans are inherently suspect and probably unconstitutional.

Read the entire article here.

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Race, Sex, and the Freedom to Marry: Loving v. Virginia

Posted in Books, History, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Virginia on 2014-11-09 17:36Z by Steven

Race, Sex, and the Freedom to Marry: Loving v. Virginia

University Press of Kansas
November 2014
296 pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/2
Cloth ISBN 978-0-7006-1999-3, $39.95(s)
Paper ISBN 978-0-7006-2000-5, $19.95(s)
Ebook ISBN 978-0-7006-2048-7

Peter Wallenstein, Professor of History
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

In 1958 Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving, two young lovers from Caroline County, Virginia, got married. Soon they were hauled out of their bedroom in the middle of the night and taken to jail. Their crime? Loving was white, Jeter was not, and in Virginia—as in twenty-three other states then—interracial marriage was illegal. Their experience reflected that of countless couples across America since colonial times. And in challenging the laws against their marriage, the Lovings closed the book on that very long chapter in the nation’s history. Race, Sex, and the Freedom to Marry tells the story of this couple and the case that forever changed the law of race and marriage in America.

The story of the Lovings and the case they took to the Supreme Court involved a community, an extended family, and in particular five main characters—the couple, two young attorneys, and a crusty local judge who twice presided over their case—as well as such key dimensions of political and cultural life as race, gender, religion, law, identity, and family. In Race, Sex, and the Freedom to Marry, Peter Wallenstein brings these characters and their legal travails to life, and situates them within the wider context—even at the center—of American history. Along the way, he untangles the arbitrary distinctions that long sorted out Americans by racial identity—distinctions that changed over time, varied across space, and could extend the reach of criminal law into the most remote community. In light of the related legal arguments and historical development, moreover, Wallenstein compares interracial and same-sex marriage.

A fair amount is known about the saga of the Lovings and the historic court decision that permitted them to be married and remain free. And some of what is known, Wallenstein tells us, is actually true. A detailed, in-depth account of the case, as compelling for its legal and historical insights as for its human drama, this book at long last clarifies the events and the personalities that reconfigured race, marriage, and law in America.

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Loving v. Virginia in Historical Context

Posted in Articles, History, Law, United States on 2014-07-29 00:34Z by Steven

Loving v. Virginia in Historical Context

Crossing Borders, Bridging Generatons
Brooklyn Historical Society
June 2014

Renee Romano, Associate Professor of History
Oberlin College

Renee Romano teaches history at Oberlin College and she is the author of Race Mixing: Black-White Marriage in Postwar America (Harvard University Press, 2003), and co-editor of The Civil Rights Movement in American Memory (University of Georgia Press, 2006). Her new book, Racial Reckoning: Prosecuting America’s Civil Rights Murders (forthcoming from Harvard University Press in fall 2014) explores the contemporary prosecutions of civil rights era crimes.

On June 12, 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a groundbreaking decision in the aptly named case, Loving v. Virginia. Responding to a challenge to a Virginia law that barred interracial marriages, the Supreme Court ruled that state laws that made it illegal for whites and nonwhites to marry were unconstitutional.

There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the Equal Protection clause,” Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote in the unanimous decision.

With the stroke of a pen, the Supreme Court overturned centuries of common practice and its own legal precedent.

The colony of Virginia had enacted the first law punishing interracial marriage in 1691 in an attempt to prevent what it called the “abominable mixture and spurious issue” produced by unions between whites and nonwhites. Miscegenation laws proved vital for establishing racial boundaries and for constructing a racial hierarchy that placed whites above people of color. All but nine of the fifty states outlawed interracial marriage at some time in their history. These laws were not limited to the South—they existed at different historical moments in states ranging from Massachusetts to California, and they variously outlawed marriages between whites and those defined as black, Asian and American Indian. What they had in common was a shared intent in protecting the status of whites and communicating the subordinate position of nonwhite groups…

Read the entire article here.

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Opinion: Supreme Court ruling upholds America’s mixed view

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2014-04-25 07:16Z by Steven

Opinion: Supreme Court ruling upholds America’s mixed view

Cable News Network (CNN)
2014-04-24

Martha S. Jones, Arthur F Thurnau Professor, Associate Professor of History and Afroamerican and African Studies
University of Michigan

(CNN) — I didn’t expect to find the specter of the mixed-race person making an appearance in Tuesday’s Supreme Court decision that upheld Michigan’s ban on affirmative action.

But there it was.

In Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the plurality, cast doubt upon the court’s capacity to deliberate over race cases — and mixed-raced people were said to be the culprits.

Kennedy wrote that “not all individuals of the same race think alike.” Fair enough. But then he went on to suggest that mixed-race people confound the court’s capacity to “define individuals according to race.”

He continued (PDF), “In a society in which those lines are becoming more blurred, the attempt to define race-based categories also raises serious questions of its own.”

When we blur the lines, as mixed-race people like me are said to do, are we really undermining the court’s capacity to determine questions about the equal protection of the laws?

Kennedy’s view feels familiar: There is nothing new about regarding mixed-race people as a problem in the United States.

We can trace this idea to the earliest lawmaking in British colonial America. The first laws to regulate race were those that prohibited sex and marriage across the color line…

Read the entire opinion piece here.

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Regulating White Desire

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2014-04-08 21:55Z by Steven

Regulating White Desire

Wisconsin Law Review
Volume 2007, Number 2 (2007)
pages 463-488

Reginald Oh, Professor of Law
Cleveland Marshall College of Law
Cleveland State University

  • Introduction
  • II. Loving v. Virginia
  • III. The Greatest Threat to the Purity of the White Race: Social Equality Through Interracial Marriage
  • IV. Miscegenation and Segregation Laws and the Legal Enforcement of White Racial Endogamy
    • A. The Enforcement of White Endogamy Norms During and After Slavery
    • B. White Racial Endogamy and the Segregation of Public Schools
    • C. The Regulation of White Women’s Desires
  • V. Back to Loving
  • VI. Conclusion

I. INTRODUCTION

In the landmark decision Loving v. Virginia, the United States Supreme Court held that laws prohibiting interracial marriages violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause because they served the impermissible purpose of maintaining white supremacy. The Commonwealth of Virginia had argued that, because the law equally punished whites and blacks, it did not illegitimately single out African Americans for discriminatory treatment. In striking down the statute, the Court rejected the notion that the equal application of miscegenation laws made them consistent with equal protection.

The Court, however, never adequately addressed an apparent flaw in its reasoning. According to conventional understandings of how white supremacy operates, laws promoting white supremacy are supposed to invidiously discriminate against blacks while benefiting whites. But how can miscegenation laws promote white supremacy and the interests of whites if the laws actually restrict their fundamental right of association and punish them if they cross racial boundaries? Was the Court contending that miscegenation laws promoted white supremacy in spite of their incidental effects on the individual rights of whites?

This Article will argue that miscegenation laws functioned to promote the supremacy of the white race by, paradoxically, deliberately regulating and restricting the liberty of white individuals. Segregationists feared that some whites, particularly women and children, wanted to relate to blacks as social equals. Without legal restrictions on the associational rights of whites, segregationists feared that blacks would gain social equality and freely enter into equal intimate relations—and ultimately marriages—with them. This would result in more interracial families, and inevitably end in the creation of a nation of a “mongrel breed of citizens.”

This Article contends that segregationist justifications for miscegenation and segregation laws shows that those laws effectively imposed a legal duty on whites to adhere to cultural norms of endogamy.  Dominant social groups enforce rules of endogamy—the cultural practice of encouraging people to marry within their own social group—to protect the dominant status of their individual members and of the social group in general. Thus, laws prohibiting interracial marriages regulated white desire in order to protect the dominant status of whites as a group. The Loving Court, therefore, ultimately was correct in declaring that miscegenation laws denied blacks equal protection.

Part II of this Article discusses miscegenation laws and the Loving decision. It contends that the Court understood that miscegenation laws operated to protect white supremacy, but that it failed to adequately explain how such laws did so. Part III argues that the primary rationale used to justify these laws was the protection of the purity of the white race. Part IV will explain these laws’ history and demonstrate that segregationists enacted and supported them to ensure that whites practiced endogamy. Part V concludes by reexamining the Loving decision in light of this Article’s analysis…

Read the entire article here.

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Overturning Anti-Miscegenation Laws: News Media Coverage of the Lovings’ Legal Case Against the State of Virginia

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2014-01-10 22:02Z by Steven

Overturning Anti-Miscegenation Laws: News Media Coverage of the Lovings’ Legal Case Against the State of Virginia

Journal of Black Studies
Volume 43, Number 4 (May 2012)
pages 427-443
DOI: 10.1177/0021934711428070

Jennifer Hoewe
College of Communications
Pennsylvania State University, University Park

Geri Alumit Zeldes, Associate Professor
School of Journalism
Michigan State University

This study fills a gap in scholarship by exploring historical news coverage of interracial relationships. It examines coverage by The New York Times, Washington Post and Times-Herald, and Chicago Tribune of the progression of the landmark civil rights case of Loving v. Virginia, in which the Supreme Court overturned Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law, which prohibited marriage between any White and non-White person. An analysis of the frames and sources used in these publications’ news stories about the case indicate all three publications’ coverage favored the Lovings.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Loving v. Virginia as a Civil Rights Decision

Posted in Law, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2013-12-09 02:21Z by Steven

Loving v. Virginia as a Civil Rights Decision

Cosponsored by the Center for African American Studies and the Program in Law and Public Affairs
102 Jones Hall
Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey
Monday, 2013-12-09, 12:00-13:20 EST (Local Time)

Dorothy E. Roberts, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology; Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights
University of Pennsylvania

The Workshop in American Studies brings together students and faculty from the wide range of departments that contribute to the Program in American Studies. By encouraging a diversity of topics from researchers from a variety of departments, we hope the Workshop highlights the advantages of the “in-between” disciplinary space that American Studies inhabits at Princeton. Our goal is to provide a forum where presenters can receive feedback from a wide variety of disciplinary perspectives and participants can be exposed to new methodologies and new topics for research. Moreover, we hope to foster a community of advanced undergraduates, graduate students and faculty who share in the common project of researching the American experience.

The format of the workshop is that the speaker introduces the paper for ten minutes and then we open up the floor to questions. Copies of the papers are made available outside the American Studies office, 42 McCosh Hall…

For more information and reservations, click here.

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